(Ke′sil) [Heb., kesil′, “stupid”].
Though this word is used many times in its basic sense of “stupid” (compare Ps 49:10; 92:6; Pr 1:22), yet the context in four places (Job 9:9; 38:31; Am 5:8; and Isa 13:10 [here in the plural]) indicates its use to designate a stellar body or group.
The term is generally considered to apply to Orion, also called the hunter, a very prominent constellation containing the giant stars Betelgeuse and Rigel. The Latin Vulgate translated kesil′ as “Orion” in Job 9:9 and Amos 5:8. Most translations imitate the Latin Vulgate in viewing kesil′ as referring to Orion. The ancient Targum and Syriac versions read “giant,” and this corresponds to the Arabic name for the Orion constellation, gabbar, or “strong one” (Hebrew equivalent, gib·bohr′).
The term is used at Amos 5:8 in connection with the reproof of Israel for failing to search for the true God Jehovah, the Maker of the heavenly constellations. At Isaiah 13:9, 10, where the plural kesi·leh·hem′ (their constellations of Kesil) is used, the description is of “the day of Jehovah,” in which proud and haughty tyrants will be abased and the celestial bodies will cease to give their light.